Today: Echoes of Foucault, 40 Years After

Today it has been exactely 40 years that Michel Foucault passed away (25 June 1984). For this occasion there are events around the world this year, collected in the World Congress Foucault 40 years after. Today in Amsterdam is the Echoes of Foucault conference, organized by the Foucault Circle NL/BE. See here the announcement and programme (see also Word Congress/Amsterdam).

The Foucault Circle NL/BE is organizing a conference about interdisciplinary uses of Foucaults work, with a focus on themes which Foucault did not think much about himself, but we do. Among other topics, colonialism and decolonization, gender, ecology. 

University of Amsterdam: Roeterseilandcampus, 25-06-2024

Few philosophers have been such fertile and suggestive thinkers as Michel Foucault. His general theme of practices concerning ‘the subject’ led him to explore a wide range of different topics. His investigation into the subject took him from analyses of the human  sciences, to dividing practices that categorize subjects as normal or abnormal, to analyses of neoliberalism, and eventually to the modes in which we change ourselves into subjects. Foucault’s work always supported emancipation of marginalized groups. Yet, many commentators have argued that, despite the wide range of his work, Foucault has left some surprising lacunae in his analyses. For example, in his work, he appears to have had little attention for feminist movements, decolonization, and climate change. The Echoes of Foucault conference aims to critically celebrate Foucault’s thought forty years after his death, by focussing on these lacunae. How is his work helpful for researchers today, across different disciplines? We will ask whether and how it might be possible to think with Foucault about these kinds of topics. With a wink, we say: Woke Foucault

We are very happy to announce that professor Jeannette Pols will provide the keynote address.

Jeannette Pols is Professor Anthropology of Everyday Ethics in Healthcare at the department of Anthropology, Faculty of Behavioral & Social Sciences, and the department of Ethics, Law & Humanities of the Amsterdam Medical Center, University of Amsterdam. Her most recent book, Reinventing the Good Life: an empirical contribution to the philosophy of care (2023), provides fascinating insights into Foucault’s reading of the Cynics, and how to employ his concepts in our contemporary world.

Conference Programme

09:30 – 10:00

Walk-in & coffee (A2.11)

10:00 – 10:45

Day opening by Guilel Treiber (A2.11)

11:00 – 13:00

Resistance and Foucault (B2.05)

Moderator: Steven Dorrestijn


Bolan Zhang Foucault’s dominant resistance, his self-critique, and a reflection of China’s resisting movements


Plami Dimova The biopolitical manifestations of hetero-nationalism in post-Soviet countries

Goran Kusic Ambiguity, Aesthetics, and Animosity: How P-Valley’s Uncle Clifford Resists Categorization Through an Ethics of the Self


Samu/elle Striewski Regimes of (De)Recognition: Butler and Preciado as Foucauldian recognition theorists

Rereading Foucault (C1.08)

Moderator: Michiel Leezenberg


Berend van Wijk Between politics and friendship: avowal and the art of living


Casper Verstegen Missing links: towards a genealogy of homo economicus


Maria Jankowska Suicide in the Age of Biopower


Anastasiia Maslova Digital information through the lenses of power-knowledge theory

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch (A2.11 or Waterside picnic)

14:00 – 16:00

Digital Discourse (B3.04)

(online session) 

Moderator: Guilel Treiber


Giorgi Vachnadze The Silence of Savoir: Foucault and Wittgenstein in the Classroom


Adriano Habed Not against but with Foucault. Queer and feminist discontents with Foucault’s critique and a proposal to move forward


Jade Gonçalves Roque The notion of punishment in Foucault before Surveiller et Punir: a new tool for Brazil’s case?


Charles Piecyk After the ‘end of man’: a Foucauldian analysis of Transhumanism and Posthumanism as contemporary discourses on the surpassing of the human

Foucault in the Field (C1.08)

Moderator: Steven Dorrestijn


Liza Steultjens Foucault and the politics of agropastoralism: analyzing the securitization of Sahelian agri-spaces through a governmentality lens


Abigail Cunningham Conforming to belong: a dialogic exploration of Scottish Pakistanis’ experiences of self and belonging


Dirk Lafaut Beyond biopolitics: the importance of the later work of Foucault to understand care practices of healthcare workers caring for undocumented migrants


Kimberley Vandenhole Eco-shaming

16:30 – 18:00

Keynote: Jeannette Pols (A2.11)

Reinventing the good life, an empirical contribution to the philosophy of care


Supported by: University of Amsterdam, Saxion, Boom

Équipe Foucault Circle NL/BE: Steven Dorrestijn / Michiel Leezenberg / Guilel Treiber / Liza Steultjens / Berend van Wijk / Casper Verstegen